Thomas Lyons, Director
The MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio was established in 2003, by the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station (now AgBioResearch) and Michigan State University Extension, to im prove economic opportunities in the Michigan agriculture, food and bio-products sectors. The Product Center assists new entrepreneurs and existing businesses to develop and commercialize high value, consumer-responsive products and services. The Center serves as a single doorway for these businesses to MSU’s vast and varied technical expertise, research, outreach, and educational services related to food and agriculture. The Center has four interrelated programs: Venture Development, Accelerated Growth Services, the Food Processing and Innovation Center (FPIC) and Strategic Research.
Venture Development utilize campus-based staff and the statewide MSUE Innovation Counselors Network to counsel business ventures from earliest idea to venture launch. In addition to business development, technical expertise in product development, food processing, labeling, and regulatory compliance is provided.
Accelerated Growth Services provides counseling and strategic planning services to well-established agriculture and food businesses that have opportunities for growth. Also serving growth-stage businesses is the FPIC, which is a fully-licensed food processing plant, where later-stage food companies can test new product lines and sell this product into the marketplace, reducing their risk.
At all levels of venture size and scope, counselors nurture new market and product development opportunities by tapping into Michigan State University's technical expertise. Project specialists also collaborate with external consultants, industry groups and governmental agencies.
Strategic Research develops the information needed to support evaluation of concepts, products and businesses. It also produces long-range studies for Michigan's agricultural, food and bio-products sectors. Most important among these is periodic estimates of the economic value of Michigan’s food and agricultural system, and the Michigan Food and Agricultural Index. This information is crucial to public and private decision makers.